Stubborn snake a Luck-y break at Cottesloe Open - PGA of Australia

Stubborn snake a Luck-y break at Cottesloe Open

A free drop from a stubborn snake helped Curtis Luck set a new course record and earn a share of the lead on day one of the Sanwell Cottesloe Open at Cottesloe Golf Club in Perth.

Enjoying a rare trip home from his commitments on the Korn Ferry Tour in the US and at the course he called home as a junior, Luck and Braden Becker both established a new men’s benchmark as Kathryn Norris set a new women’s course record.

One of the most popular stops on the adidas PGA Pro-Am Series drew a star-laden field not only for the open event but for the Lyndsay Stephen Cottesloe Invitational, a PGA Legends Tour event played in conjunction.

South Australian Jason Norris leads the senior event with a round of 4-under 68 but is three strokes behind both Becker and Luck who set a new course record of 7-under 65 following design changes made by Graham Marsh Golf Design.

Luck had eight birdies in his round of 65 that was aided by an unusual ruling following a wayward tee shot.

“The one tee shot that was in a bit of trouble nestled right in close to a snake,” Luck revealed post-round.

“We tried to get it to move so I could play the shot and the thing was just not budging and ended up staying in the bush that I needed to pretty much stand on.

“Got a nice drop from that which was lucky.

“I haven’t spent a lot of time here over the past seven years which is weird considering I spent pretty much every day here for the first 20 years of my life.

“It’s really nice seeing a lot of familiar faces out there and the home crowds there to watch is awesome.”

In a field boasting current DP World Tour players in Jason Scrivener and Haydn Barron and former DP World Tour winners Brett Rumford, Marcus Fraser and Scott Strange, Becker went bogey-free having gleaned some insight from playing with close friend Cameron John at the WA PGA Foursomes mid-week.

John went on to win at Kwinana on Friday and Becker is hoping to turn their foursomes strategy into his own success on Sunday.

“Playing the Foursomes on Thursday, I learnt a bit of stuff playing with Cam John,” said Becker.

“Obviously we talked about a few things that we should be focusing on, going at flags or going for centre-greens so I kept that in the back of my head.

“I played away from the pins on a few of them and see if I can roll in a couple. I’m good with the putter so if I can give myself half a chance to get things going then we’ll do it that way.”

John is part of a four-way tie for third just one stroke back at 6-under followed by Foursomes champions Josh Greer and Nathan Barbieri and Brett Rumford and Zinyo Garcia, all at 5-under.

While pleased to plunder birdies on Saturday, Becker expects Cottesloe’s coastal setting to throw up some more challenging conditions in the final round.

“I think it might be a bit more like we normally play Cottesloe with the wind in the afternoon so that might be a bit more like we normally like to see it,” he added.

“If we can keep doing the same thing – keep hitting it on the fairway, hit it on the green and hole a couple of putts – we’ll be right back up there.”

Norris is in a tie for 16th after her course-record round of 3-under 69, a mark that could have been one better if not for a lone bogey on the par-4 18th.

Tied for 12th at Kwinana, Norris continued her outstanding recent play with birdies at one, eight, 11 and 16 to be level with Rick Kulacz, Marcus Fraser, Brady Watt, Jordan Doull and John Boulton.

Round 2 begins at 7am AWST with the final group of Becker, Luck and Lachlan Aylen to tee off at 12:40pm.

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